Captain Shiva Chauhan from the Corps of Engineers has been posted at a frontline post in Siachen Glacier, in first such operational deployment of an woman Army officer at the world’s highest battlefield.
The officer was posted at the Kumar post, located at an altitude of around 15,600 feet in Siachen, on Monday for a three-month stint after she underwent rigorous training, Army officials said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed his best wishes to Capt Chauhan and said he was happy to see more women joining the armed forces and take every challenge in stride.
“Excellent news! I am extremely happy to see more women joining the Armed Forces and take every challenge in stride. It is an encouraging sign. My best wishes to Capt Shiva Chauhan,” he tweeted.
The Army said Capt Chouhan became the first woman officer to get operationally deployed at the world’s highest battlefield.
The Siachen glacier at the height of around 20,000 feet in the Karakoram range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds.
In the past, women officers have been posted to Siachen base camp which is at about 9,000 ft as part of their regular postings along with the unit.
“It was a proud moment for Indian Army when Capt Shiva Chouhan became the first woman officer to get operationally deployed at the world’s highest battlefield, Siachen, after a month’s arduous training at Siachen Battle School along with other personnel,” the Army said in a statement.
Capt Shiva Chouhan from Rajasthan is a Bengal Sapper Officer.
She has done her schooling from Udaipur and holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from NJR Institute of Technology, Udaipur. She lost her father at a young age of 11 years and her mother took care of her studies.
From her childhood, she was motivated to join the Indian Armed Forces and showcased unparalleled zeal during training at Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai and was commissioned into the Engineer Regiment in May 2021.
The officer was put through rigorous training at the Siachen Battle School where she trained alongside the officers and men of the Indian Army, officials said.
The training included endurance training, ice wall climbing, avalanche and crevasse rescue and survival drills, they said.
“In spite of various challenges, Captain Shiva with unflinching commitment successfully completed the training and was all set to be inducted to the Siachen Glacier,” said an official.
The Army said the team of Sappers led by Capt Shiva Chouhan will be responsible for numerous combat engineering tasks and will be deployed at the post for a duration of three months.